This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Dear Sir - For the gratification of such of your readers as may have a taste for the cultivation of aquatic plants, and have not an appropriate situation for their culture, I would subjoin for the Horticulturist, (should you think it worth a place there,) a plan for growing them on a small scale; and give you a description of an aquarium in the garden of J. L. Comstoce, M. D., of Hartford, Ct.
It consists of a cheaply constructed box, made of thick pine boards, roughly put together, about sixteen feet long, fifteen inches wide, and twenty deep, open at the top only, having partitions and spaces proportioned to the room allotted to each plant, or parcel of plants, the divisions being from one to two feet apart. These spaces are filled nearly full of soil appropriate to the plants, and the water is supplied generally in sufficient abundance from a roof, by rains, through a trough leading to them, all excess running off.
In this the Doctor had quite an interesting group of wildings, which have luxuriated in their native vigor, apparently unconscious of any inferiority to some of their exotic neighbors.
Among them I noticed the white Water Lily, (Nymphza odorata.) The Pitcher plant, (Sarrucenia purpurea.) The Cardinal flower, (Lobelia cardinalis,) Vaccinium oceycoc-cus, Acorus calamus, Typha latifolia, Chelone glabra, Caltha palustris, etc., etc. In the vicinity, the Doctor had introduced, and had growing in perfection, many other interesting native flowering plants and trees. The following are some noticed by me:
Lygodium palmatum, Habenaria grandiflora, Arctostaphylos uva ursi, beautifully flourishing, Aster cyaneus, Asarum canadense, Osmunda regalis. Several species Cor-nun, Viburnum, Salix, and Rhododendron, Also Aristolochia sipho, from the Cats-kill mountains, a most luxuriant climber. Leptinthus gramineus; beside species of the Yucca, Epilobium, Thalictrum, Sedum, Clethra, Liatris, Ludwigia, Staphylea, Euony-mu8, Equesitum, Viola, etc, and Solidago odora, very flourishing. This latter species is worth cultivating for its fragrance. It is rare about New-Haven, and I know of but one locality of its growth here. It is difficult to detach a root from the parent stock, but I find on trial it grows well from slips placed in a hot-bed.
which adorn the gardens of the wealthy in Europe. I would only allude to a few as an example of the large class of numerous native species worthy of attention.
How many beauties we have in the single class of orchidacea. In it are the Calypso borealis, Gymnodenia flava. The genus Cypripedium, Orchis, Arethusa, Pogonia, etc. Ac. The families Lilicea and Rosacea, etc, afford many more beautiful species. Of the trees, shrubs, etc. my time will not at present permit any extended remarks. The genus Staphylea affords three species, one native of our country, the trifolia, one of the West Indies, one of Europe. Where is there a prettier ornamental shrub than our Staphylea trtfolia? Its beautiful striated stalks, symmetrical shape, and inflated capsules of seeds, vigorous growth, and being uninfested by any insect, all recommend it strongly for cultivation in pleasure grounds. Of evergreens we have one which is common, but its capabilities are scarcely at all known, or its cultivation would supersede many others which make far inferior appearance. I mean the Abies canadensis, commonly called hemlock and Spruce Pine. In its native localities it is a fine tree, but when trimmed in and shaped into such form as it is capable of, [allowed to grow and develop freely on all sides.
Ed.] it is one of the most beautiful of evergreens, and of all others, seems to me most worth cultivating; plants of it under four or six years of age, set out in March or April, make a good hedge, and it lives under other trees better than most evergreens, but for trimming in as symmetrical garden trees, or for ornamental single trees, its excellence consists, and plants not over three years old are best; as they are kept trimmed they become very compact, resembling the Irish Yew; although handsomer, have been mistaken for it.
The seeds of this tree are generally eaten by birds or more of them might be found. Their cultivation from seed requires particular management; they germinate well, but great numbers die. Can you oblige us with the result of some of your own experience.
Very respectfully yours, A. L. Munson, M. D.